Research in Motion has launched the latest version of its back-end device management system, BlackBerry Enteprise Service 10.
The new version has been updated to take advantage of features of BlackBerry 10, the company’s new device operating system due out next week.
One new feature of BlackBerry 10 is Balance, which allows the user to set up separate personal and professional profiles on their BlackBerry, with different apps and information access priveleges. The personal profile is managed by the employee, while the professional profile is managed by the employer via BES 10.
"Balance lets admins push apps down into work domain that employees require," Peter Devenyi, RIM’s senior vice president of enterprise software, told Information Age. "What’s unique about balance is that it’s truly baked into the operating system, not something layered on top, which is going to be tremendously important to corporations that are allowing these personal devices."
Balance will only be available to organisations that purchase a subscription to BES 10, Devenyi said.
Unlike its predecessors, BES 10 will allow organisation to manage non-BlackBerry devices, including iPhones, iPads or Android devices. Installing the BES 10 app from Google Play or the Apple app store allows admins to perform some device management functions, such as location tracking, locking and wiping devices and pushing out security policies.
"We’re very realistic about the fact it’s a heterogeneous world out there … which is why it’s so important for BES 10 to support all third party devices that our customers are telling us to," said Devenyi.
Just as the launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system is make-or-break for RIM’s device business, the success of BES 10 is crucial if it is to hold onto its enterprise installed base.
Devenyi argued that aside from the features of the software, RIM’s track record in customer support will help it to maintain customer loyalty. "We have a world class support organisation built up over many years, and our customers have relied on that as they built up their BlackBerry environment," he said.
"It’s very important for them to have one vendor to deal with, who they know they can trust and will be there to run business, and that’s the major differentiator."
BES is available for a 60-day free trial.